Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



One month from historic Supreme Court arguments, unknowns loom
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

This article shared 2364 times since Mon Feb 18, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

One month away from the most historic and, perhaps, influential U.S. Supreme Court cases in LGBT history, a surprising number of facts are still unknown.

For instance, while New York attorney Roberta Kaplan will argue the merits of lesbian plaintiff Edith Windsor's position that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and lesbian law professor Pamela Karlan will argue Windsor's position on the legal standing issues, it has not yet been decided exactly who will argue the merits and the legal standing issue for the couples opposing Proposition 8. Ted Olson, who along with David Boies is leading the legal team challenging Proposition 8, says his team will decide who will argue the merits and who will argue the standing issue after seeing what the Solicitor General decides to file —or not file— in their case.

There have been no signals from the Supreme Court that it will make the audio recordings of the two cases available to the public on the same day as the arguments, as it did with the landmark health reform cases. (Normally, such audio is not available until the end of the week, though a written transcript is often available on the same day as the argument.)

It has still not been announced by the Solicitor General's office what argument —narrow or broad— the Obama administration will take in opposing DOMA. And there has been no indication of whether the Obama administration will even take a position in the Proposition 8 case.

But a lot of these unknowns are about to be resolved. Critical briefs —particularly from the Solicitor General's office— are due to be submitted to the Supreme Court this week.

Friday, February 22, is the Solicitor General's deadline for laying out the Obama administration's view of how the court should resolve the DOMA dispute. And February 28 is its deadline to file a brief in the Proposition 8 case, if it chooses to do so.

This much is known: The Obama administration considers DOMA unconstitutional and President Obama has publicly made very clear that he believes same-sex couples should have the right to marry.

The question, according to two articles this month in The New Yorker magazine, is whether the Obama administration will take positions that promote a "bold" striking down of all anti-gay marriage laws, beyond DOMA, or a more "cautious" dismantling of them, state by state.

In the Proposition 8 case, notes legal analyst Jeff Toobin, "Obama could take the position, as the plaintiffs have, that the Constitution compels every state in the union to allow same-sex marriage."

"If adopted," he said, "this argument would turn the Hollingsworth case into the gay-rights equivalent of Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 landmark decision that said states could no longer ban interracial marriage."

In the DOMA case, notes gay Democratic activist and attorney Richard Socarides, where the government is already on record, the bigger issue is "whether the federal government should just abide by state laws legalizing same-sex marriage, by overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, or, more powerfully, by saying that every American has that right."

To reach that latter —bold— result, the Supreme Court would have to agree with the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in U.S. v. Windsor that courts should given a heightened level of scrutiny to laws treating people differently because of sexual orientation.

"If the Supreme Court adopted that reasoning to strike down DOMA (in Windsor) and Proposition 8 (in Perry)," wrote gay legal scholar William Eskridge, in a December 9 post at, "every state marriage law excluding lesbian and gay couples would be in immediate jeopardy, because no state could muster a compelling or substantial public interest that would satisfy the Second Circuit's approach."

That's how big the decisions in Windsor and Perry could get.

"Windsor and Perry are likely to be two of the most important constitutional decisions in our lifetimes," wrote law professors Neal Devins and Tara Leigh Groves at scotusblog December 8. "If (as we suspect), the Court reaches the merits of each case, we believe it will advance the cause of same-sex marriage by invalidating both DOMA and Proposition 8. But, in our view, the Court's jurisdictional rulings — on the power of a single chamber of Congress and private sponsors of ballot initiatives to defend federal and state measures — will also have important implications, informing the scope of the constitutional separation of powers at both the federal and state level."

But "if the court reaches the merits of each case" is one of the looming uncertainties in both cases. The court may not rule on the merits of each case. It could make a ruling on standing that would preclude it reaching the merits of the disputes.

"If the Court does not rule on the marriage rights issue itself in either of the granted cases, and that is all that is concludes on the issue this Term," wrote veteran Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston, in his December 7 post at scotusblog, "the question would arise whether it might take on some of the other pending cases, so as to reach the more fundamental constitutional dispute. That, however, might come too late for a decision this Term, with a likely recess in late June."

Briefs from parties on both sides of both cases are due to the court on the issue of legal standing, as well as the Olson-Boies' brief about the merits of the Proposition 8 argument, are due this week.

© copyright 2013 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

This article shared 2364 times since Mon Feb 18, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Polis marriage marks first same-sex wedding of sitting governor
On Sept. 15, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed longtime partner Marlon Reis—marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor, NPR reported. Polis keeps making history. In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay ...

Gay News

Hastert settles sexual-abuse lawsuit
Days before a trial was set to begin, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reached a tentative settlement in a hush-money lawsuit filed by a man whose decades-old sexual-abuse allegations led to the politician's downfall six ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...

Gay News

Catholic theologians urge protections for LGBTQ+ people
More than 750 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to a New Ways press release. ...

Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9
The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...

Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards
In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to According to police ...

Gay News

Women & Children First hosting virtual event with Anita Hill on Sept. 29
Anita Hill—the University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University who played a major role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—will be part ...

Gay News

Chicago neighborhood nonprofits join forces to provide free attorneys
Four Chicago neighborhood nonprofits—LCLC (Lawndale Christian Legal Center), Breakthrough, BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) and New Life Centers—have formed a partnership to assign free ...

Gay News

One in ten LGBT workers experienced discrimination at work in the last year
LGBT employees of color were more likely to report being denied jobs and verbal harassment A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds an estimated 46% of LGBT workers have experienced ...

Gay News

Constand breaks silence about Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand is breaking her silence to NBC News about the comic/actor's release from prison two months ago, Deadline noted. In a brief clip, Constand tells Kate Snow she "was really shocked — ...

Gay News

Afghan LGBTQs in peril, with little help in sight
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of LGBT Afghan citizens, who dared to take modest steps toward living openly when their country was under the occupation and influence of a more tolerant "western culture," are now literally hiding in ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Calif. bill, lawsuits, Billy Porter, 'Southern LGBTQ Experiences'
The California legislature okayed a bill that would launch a pilot program to better track the gender identity and sexual orientation of victims of fatal violence, Gay City News noted. Under AB 1094, or the Sexual ...

Gay News

WORLD Anti-TGNC vote, #VeryGayRaptor, Brazilian governor, Scottish poll
In Australia, the government voted down workplace protections for transgender, non-binary and intersex people, reported. The senate was considering the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment ...

Gay News

Pappas reintroduces expanded SERVE Act to guarantee LGBTQ+ veterans VA benefits
--From a press release - Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01), member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Equality Caucus, alongside Reps. Mike Levin (CA-49), Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04) ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.